(National Sentinel) No Sanctuary: Immigration and Customs Enforcement confirmed on Monday that is agents had rounded up at least 150 aliens suspected of being in the U.S. illegally, even as the department deeply criticized Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf for alerting the public to the secret operation prior to its launch, which allowed some to escape capture.
The Northern California sweep was aimed to counter local sanctuary city laws, officials said, as more round-ups are expected in the coming weeks and months.
As reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, ICE agents fanned out from the Central Valley to the state’s northernmost regions knocking on doors and detaining suspected illegal aliens.
Community activists and some Democratic lawmakers opposed to Trump administration’s enforcement of immigration laws were upset by the raids.
ICE officials, who remained provided no details about the raids for three days, said in a statement on Monday that suspected illegals had been detained in San Francisco, Bay Point, Stockton, and Sacramento; half of those arrested had prior criminal convictions including some for violent offenses.
The operation, named “Keep Safe,” may have been in reference to Kate Steinle, the San Fran woman who was shot and killed on a bay pier in July 2015 by an illegal immigrant who had stolen a gun.
ICE leaders were livid about the prior warning.
“Sanctuary jurisdictions like San Francisco and Oakland shield dangerous criminal aliens from federal law enforcement at the expense of public safety,” said Thomas Homan, the acting director of ICE, the Chronicle reported.
“Because these jurisdictions prevent ICE from arresting criminal aliens in the secure confines of a jail, they also force ICE officers to make more arrests out in the community, which poses increased risks for law enforcement and the public.”
Homan singled out Schaaf, who released an unprecedented warning Saturday night that ICE had begun to arrest opeople. She said at the time she released the alert after being given confidential tips from “credible sources” and conferring with lawyers to ensure she was not putting herself in jeopardy of federal prosecution.
Homan said her warning endangered ICE officers and alerted their targets, “making clear that this reckless decision was based on her political agenda.” He said 864 “criminal aliens and public safety threats remain at large in the community, and I have to believe that some of them were able to elude us thanks to the mayor’s irresponsible decision.”
Fox News, which was given access to the raids and ICE officers during the operation, reported that agency officials were asking the Department of Justice to investigate whether Schaaf broke any laws.
The paper reported in January that ICE was planning raids in the state.
The Justice Department warned sanctuary jurisdictions last month that it was investigating the possibility of legal action against them.
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